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Rose to the Occasion: Easy-Growing Gardening, #2

Rose to the Occasion: Easy-Growing Gardening, #2

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Rose to the Occasion: Easy-Growing Gardening, #2

183 Seiten
1 Stunde
Jul 24, 2020


Roses are the Queen of Flowers. They're beautiful, fragrant, and elegant - and roses require all the pampering of a real Queen, don't they?

Actually, they don't!

Rose gardening can be easy and pleasant. I've worked 25 years in horticulture and cared for over 300 roses in a public rose garden when I was municipal horticulturist. I found ways to keep rose gardening fussbudgetry to a minimum while growing vigorous roses that bloomed their heads off. Rose to the Occasion: An Easy-Growing Guide to Rose Gardening shares tricks and shortcuts that rosarians use, plus simple ways you can keep up with your to-do list in the rose garden.

Gardeners of all skill levels will find this book helpful, whether they be beginning gardeners or old rosarians, whether they have a green thumb or a brown thumb.

Rose to the Occasion includes
* old illustrations of roses in bloom, plus historical background on each flower
* down-to-earth wisdom on how to plant, grow, and prune roses
* the in and out of fertilizing roses to get the lushest foliage and best blooms
* advice on choosing the right rose for your garden, as well as many easy-growing varieties
* the latest on organic pest control and fungicide use in the rose garden
* hardy, tough old roses that can take whatever Mother Nature throws at them
* and general garden maintenance help that you can use anywhere in the garden.

If you love The Rose Bible by Rayford Clayton Reddell, or books by David Austin, or books like Right Rose, Right Place; or Everyday Roses: How to Grow Knock Out® and Other Easy-Care Garden Roses; or The Organic Rose Garden, and if you like garden books leavened with humor -- then this book is for you.

Jul 24, 2020

Über den Autor

This is the gardening pen name for Melinda R. Cordell. Former city horticulturist, rose garden potentate, greenhouse manager, perennials factotum, landscape designer, and small-time naturalist. I've been working in horticulture in one way or another since 1989. These days I write gardening books because my body makes cartoon noises when I move, and I really like air-conditioning. Good times!

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Rose to the Occasion - Rosefiend Cordell



To Brad, Sophie, and Stevie

as always

The Rose Family

by Robert Frost

The rose is a rose,

And was always a rose.

But the theory now goes

That the apple's a rose,

And the pear is, and so's

The plum, I suppose.

The dear only knows

What will next prove a rose.

You, of course, are a rose –

But were always a rose.

Rosefiend Publishing

Copyright © 2017 by Melinda R. (Rosefiend) Cordell

All rights reserved. Although the author has made every effort to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, explosions, zombie apocalypses, angry birds, freak rose accidents, your cat getting into stuff that he shouldn’t, Death Eaters, meteors, or any other cause.

Sign up for my newsletter and get a free book!

For more information (and books!), visit my website.


A million thanks to Charles Anctil, ARS Master Rosarian at Moffet’s Nursery, for looking over this manuscript and offering suggestions, all of which I took. I learned a lot from him over the many years I knew him, and it was always so good to talk to him. Charles passed on in December 2017, and we all miss him very much.

Table of Contents!





Choosing and Preparing a Planting Site

The Importance of Soilbuilding


How to Buy Bare-Root Roses

Purchasing a bare-root rose.

Own-root roses and grafted roses.

Planting bare-root roses

How to dig a hole

Post-planting care

What To Look For In Container-Grown Roses

Buying and Planting Roses in the Fall

How to Transplant a Rose


Watering: Give Roses a Good Long Drink

Mulching: Saving Roots and Plants for Millennia

Fertilizing: Feed the Rose and Feed the Soil

Compost Basics

Great Organic Fertilizers for Roses



A Quick Primer in Making a Good Cut

Rose Tips Through the Year

Taking Care of Roses in High Summer

November Rose Care

Winterize Your Roses


Fungicides – Because an Ounce of Prevention etc. etc.

A Quick Guide to Blackspot and Mildew

A preventative spraying program

Spot-Spraying Insects is Best

Tips For When You Spray

Vinegar Makes a Good Herbicide


Lacewings (Chrysoperla carnea)

Ladybugs (Coccinellidae)

Wheel Bugs (Arilus cristatus)

Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa)


Spotted Cucumber Beetles

Spider Mites



Japanese Beetles

Leaf-Cutter Bees

Birds Are On Your Side

Rose Rosette Disease: No Cure

When a Rose Doesn’t Bloom


Rooting Old Roses

How to take cuttings

Layering Roses

Where To Find Old Roses
















‘Seven Sisters’ rose, a fine old variety.


When I started working as city horticulturist, I took care of a bunch of gardens around the city, including the big Krug Park rose garden. It included a bunch of the usual scrawny tea roses, some shrub roses, and a bunch of bare ground.

I was more of a perennials gal, but when I looked at the roses, some of them were really nice. The ‘Carefree Delight’ roses were covered with rumpled pink blossoms. There was a tall ‘Mr. Lincoln’ rose and some ‘Double Delights’ that smelled amazing. A bunch of ‘Scarlet Meidilands’ were really putting on a blooming show, with tiny scarlet flowers cascading all over them. Not shabby at all.

I started taking care of the roses, but I noticed that a lot of the ‘Scarlet Meidilands’ were sprouting odd growths. Most of the new growth looked fine, with bronzed, flat leaves that looked attractive. But some of the new growth was markedly different – skinny, stunted leaves with pebbled surfaces, and hyperthorny canes that were downright rubbery. The blossoms on these shoots were crinkled and didn’t open worth a darn.

I hollered at Charles Anctil, a Master Rosarian with the American Rose Society. We’d known each other since 1992 when we both worked at the Old Mill Nursery. He’d been working with roses for a good 50 years, and he knows his stuff. At any rate, Charles looked over the roses and told me that those roses, and others, had rose rosette virus, a highly contagious disease, and a death sentence for a rose. Every one of those roses had to come out. He couldn’t believe the extent of the damage. He said that he had never seen so many roses infected by rose rosette in one place.

Oh great! Why do I get to be the lucky one?

I dug up many roses that spring. That winter, I got a work crew and dug up 50 more. I had to replace all those roses, so I started researching new varieties.

As city horticulturist with no staff, I was already running like hell everywhere I went, so I wanted roses that wouldn’t wilt or croak or wrap themselves in blackspot every time I looked at them cross-eyed. I wanted tough roses, roses that took heat and drought and bug attacks and zombie apocalypses with aplomb and would still come out looking great and covered with scented blossoms. (And the blossoms HAD to be scented – there was no two ways about that.)

I started reading rose catalogs. I talked to Charles some more, which is always fun. Somewhere along the way, I got obsessed. I immersed myself in roses. That’s how I learn – I get excited about a subject and start reading everything in sight about it, as if it’s a mini-course in school. I read about antique roses, which were making a comeback. Different rose breeders, most notably David Austin, were crossing modern varieties with old varieties and to get roses that combined the best of the new and the old. Other breeders were creating roses that were tough and disease-resistant, such as the ‘Knock-Out’ landscape rose, which now you see everywhere.

I planted some antique roses, and they looked great. I planted more. The rose garden was starting to look spiffy, even though I still had to take roses out every year due to the rose rosette virus. I even tucked in some annuals and perennials around the garden to doll up the place when the roses conked out in July and August.

Roses are amazing plants. Many old roses have a long and storied history. Some species that were growing during the time of the Pyramids are still blooming today. And these roses are attractive and fragrant. What could be better?

Some people say that you can’t grow roses organically. I say you can. I did use a few chemicals when I was a horticulturist, but that was because I had a huge list of things to do in a limited amount of time. I used Round Up for spot-weeding (a tiny squirt for each weed, just enough to wet the leaves), a systemic granular fungicide to keep up with blackspot, and Miracle-Gro as part of the fertilizing regimen for convenience.

If you choose to use chemicals, use them responsibly. Don’t spray them and expect the problem to be fixed. They work best when you combine them with other control methods. I’ll give you an example that’s not rose-related. I had a mandevilla plant in the greenhouse that had a huge mealybug problem. (Mealybugs are a small, white insect that sucks out plant juices. The young bugs look like bits of cotton. Picture to the right.) I sprayed the plant with insecticide until the leaves were dripping. The mealybugs were still there. I put a systemic insecticide around the roots of the plant and watered it in. The mealybugs didn’t care.

So I just started squishing the mealybugs with my fingers, a gross job because they squirt orange goo. At that point, I didn’t care. I searched them out and squashed them where they were cuddled up around buds, in the cracks of the plant, and under the leaves. I even found some on the roots just under the soil. I squished those and added a little extra potting soil. I checked the plant every other day and squished every mealybug I could find. After a while, I stopped finding them altogether. Then I fertilized the plant, and the mandevilla put out leaves like crazy and started blooming. Success!

Chemicals aren’t a cure-all by any means. They’re convenient, but sometimes you just have to get in and do a little hands-on work with the plant to help it along. It’s a good feeling when a plant you’ve been working with rights itself and perks up again.

Though I’m no longer a horticulturist, I wrote this book because I have worked in horticulture for about half my life, and have a decent understanding about how the natural world works. I might possibly be just a little crazy about roses. I hope my experiences are helpful and that you’re able to benefit from them – and that your roses benefit as well.

‘Mermaid’ (1917), has large, perfumed flowers, accepts shade, and is a vigorous grower.


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